Working as an Ensemble
The following exercises are designed to isolate and embellish the themes students will be exposed to in the performance. In these exercises, themes such as self esteem, leadership and responsibility are exposed and deconstructed.
The vaudeville clowns employ a lot of physical comedy in their performances. How are some of the ways that we communicate with each other without speaking?
One student is selected to leave the room. As a group, the class decides on a gesture the student is to perform (eg touching the tip of their nose). As the student enters the room, he/she is invited to explore the space and try a number of movements, guided by the level of the group’s applause. For example, a hand waving over the face would warrant more applause than shaking a leg. When the student performs the correct action, the audience cheers and applauds and a new student is selected.
Toby is a great help to Cindy during the show and his knowledge of the Cinderella story helps to guide his new friend along her journey. How can we be good leaders for our friends when they need us?
Students are divided into pairs and one student of each pair is instructed to close their eyes. The partners are then required to hold their blind partner by the hand and gently lead them around the space. Students are encouraged to always maintain physical contact with their partners to reassure them and to also guide their senses through the space, allowing them to run their hands along surfaces and other students in the room. If the students feel confident with their partners, allow them to move faster around the space. If they are confident enough, the may even be able to run! Be mindful to switch the partners over to ensure everyone enjoys being both a leader and a follower.
There are a lot of examples of working together in the show - Cindy and Toby, the vaudevillians and even Sophia and Mauderina. What are some of the ways we can listen to each other and work as a group?
One student is selected to be the detective for this exercise and sent from the room. As a group, the remaining students select a leader. The leader then decides upon an action which the whole group is to perform (eg jumping up and down). When this is decided, the detective is brought back into the room and the group then follows the leader in performing the action as closely as possible. The detective’s goal is to guess who is leading the group, which they have three turns to guess, at which point a new detective and leader is chosen.
Words of Affirmation
Cindy begins the show as a girl who does not see herself as very special but, with the help of her friends, she learns to love herself. We all have days when we don’t feel very special. How can we remind ourselves that we are all wonderful?
Each student receives a piece of paper which they write their names on. Each piece of paper is placed around the room and students are instructed to go to each piece of paper and write one word or a few words that describe something they like about that particular student. It is recommended that the teacher takes part in this exercise as well, to both contribute and to ensure that each student finishes the workshop with positive words left for them.